WESSA Water Explorer and Eco-Schools, were invited to attend and assist with facilitating at the Durban Adaptation Charter (DAC) workshop for Climate Change in Durban on the 14th and 15th of October. What is the DAC ?
The DAC is means of assisting local governments in Southern Africa to work toward local climate solutions…
This first of its kind workshop in Southern Africa was particularly important in light of COP 21 which happen in Paris in November. The COP is a very important global meeting where all countries come together to talk and hopefully act on Climate Solutions.
Water Explorer and Eco-Schools assisted with facilitating some of the workshop sessions which were all very enlightening and worrying in many ways. Many high profile sustainability experts and Climate leaders were there to present and engage the group of about 180 participants from 15 African countries. The Climate Reality Project hosted this event and was facilitated by the very passionate Mario Molina. The director of Green Peace Africa, Michael O’Brian Onyeka spoke on the current science and projections for climate change. 2015 is once again as previous years, set to be the hottest year on historical record, and this is only with a 0.8 degree C temperature increase. Many of the speakers reiterated that in the best case we will get away with a minimum of a 2degree Temperature rise. So if we are concerned and anxious about current strange weather patterns imagine what they will be like with a 2 degree increase?! It is therefore critical that our politicians and decision makers take heed in these strong messages and we can only pray, hope, wish that COP 21 there will be negotiations of reason and good logic will prevail that will ensure that we don’t exceed this boiling point.
That said, there was some encouragement from Johan van den Berg CEO of South African Wind power Association who explained the relative success story of the expansion of the wind and solar energy components in the South African Energy sector. In as little as 4 years the industry has be built up to 92 project amounting to a 11 billon USD business… But how come we aren’t hearing about this more and we still only hear about the imminent fracking, the building of coal fired power stations and the exploration of nuclear energy plants?? Our government needs to wake up. We cant drink gas, and we cannot survive in a plundered environment.
Although we felt a renewed sense of urgency to take action there were two point that were evaded during these talks. One was the question of human population and the other animal agriculture, which contributes to nearly 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions. When are we going to be brave enough to face up to this two crucial issues? If we don’t our days are well and truly numbered!
At least we know differences can be made and we will continue to encourage our Water Explorer and Eco-Schools to forge ahead with their valiant and meaningful efforts, at the moment these young children feel like the only ones we can rely on!
(Bridget Ringdahl and Charlene Russell were fortunate enough to attend the Climate Reality training by former US vice-president Al Gore in JHB in 2014, thank you for these engaging opportunities)